Crazy Ants

Paratrechina longicornis, P. bourbonica, and P. pubens

P. longicornis

Foraging Characteristics: Medium-sized reddish-brown, grayish to blackish ant.  Workers of any one species all similar in size. Run erratically and quickly. Long and slender, with long legs and antennae. P. longicornis has especially long appendages. Usually seen in large numbers running erratically, so distinct trails are difficult to discriminate.



Nest Sites & Characteristics: Nest in soil or under objects resting on the ground, like potted plants, bags of soil, toys. Also in trash piles, rotten wood, and trees buttresses. Nests are transitory and ants may be seen relocating, carrying brood from one nest site to another. Males and females of P. longicornis are winged but wings are removed from females before they are fully mature, and males have never been seen to fly.



Diet: Living and dead insects. Collect honeydew from sap-sucking insects and plants. Collect seeds. Forage for sweets, proteins, fats and other food crumbs in homes. P. longicornis  may be seasonal in diet preference, preferring proteins in the summer and sweet foods in the spring and fall.

Detailed Description:  2-3 mm (1/12-1/8 in) long. Twelve-segmented antennae without club. One petiolar segment. No sting. Gaster with circular fringe of hairs at tip.  Erect hairs usually coarse and bristle-like. P. longicornis (2.3-2.9mm) has very long and slender antennae and legs, gray to black in coloration, whitish hairs on thorax. P. bourbonica (2.6-3.2mm) has larger eyes, more hair, and longer erect hairs on the antennae than other species. P. pubens (2.75-3mm) is  paler than bourbonica with longer light brown hairs on the thorax.  Subfamily Formicinae.  

Most Common Complaints: Numerous foragers in house or outdoors. Often forage long distances, so nests may be difficult to find for control. Restrict access to structures, bait indoors.

Flight Season: P. bourbonica any time of the year; P. longicornis produce alates any time of year in warmer areas, May-October in central Florida north, but alates do not fly.




Origin: Old World tropics